Mar 9, 2017
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Manchester City round-up: Wilshire linked; midfielder set for contract extension; Guardiola reacts to Stoke stalemate

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Reports in The Telegraph over the last day have alleged that Manchester City have targeted Bournemouth midfielder Jack Wilshere as a summer signing as Pep Guardiola looks to increase homegrown talent.

 

The report claims that Guardiola has set his sights on bringing in English players once the season ends, rather than looking further afield, and the 25-year-old midfielder is reportedly top of his list.

Guardiola has made a point in his two previous jobs of nurturing homegrown talent into his squads, notoriously using Spanish players at Barcelona and young German players during his time in Munich.

Yet City’s boss has re-iterated the difficulty in signing English players, saying that it’s becoming “impossible” to get “value for money” with transfer prices soaring in recent windows.

He said:

“Tottenham players, the English players are all amazing, City, United, Chelsea players as well like [Gary] Cahill. Believe me I would like English players, but it is impossible. It is so expensive.

“The club has worked for a long time with the academy, they are thinking about the next few years, hopefully they will come through with me. But I would like four or five [English] boys in the side.”

Manchester City currently have Raheem Sterling, John Stones, Joe Hart and Fabian Delph as homegrown players who have all featured for the Citizens at some point this season.

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With one midfielder linked with a move to the Etihad, another one is set to extend his stay at the club as The Sun reports that Brazilian Fernandinho is soon to be given a 12-month contract extension.

 

The 31-year-old has impressed for City this season, heavily featuring in midfield after the untimely injury to Ilkay Gundogan, and is reportedly set to be rewarded with a new deal under Guardiola.

The report claims that a source close to Manchester City said:

“They are looking at sorting it this summer. He’s had discipline issues, but Pep still has his back.

“The boss thinks Fern can be another Brazilian like Cafu or Dani Alves and perform at a high level into his late 30s.”

Fernandinho’s current contract only has a year left on it, and it is believed that the threat of losing him on a free to a Premier League rival is enough to make Guardiola make his move to keep him.

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Manchester City were held to a frustrating goalless draw against a stubborn Stoke City side on Wednesday evening, but manager Pep Guardola has said he has ‘no regrets’ after resting first-team regulars.

 

Guardiola left the in-form Raheem Sterling and David Silva on the bench as he juggled with his side ahead of next week’s trip to Monaco in the Champions League, a decision that eventually backfired.

Reflecting on a frustrating evening at Stoke, the City boss said:

“They defended deep and it was complicated to find the players between the lines. We were there in the last minutes. I don’t have regrets about how they ran, how they fought.

“The rotations are good when you have a successful result but, when they are not, always we miss those people.”

The draw meant that Manchester City missed the chance to go above rivals Tottenham into second in the Premier League table and close the gap on leaders Chelsea, with the gap still at ten points.

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